I think my portion sizes are too big. Do you have any advice for getting the correct amount of different types of foods for my meals so I get the right balance?
It’s easy to have a healthy diet yet still eat far too much or too little - depending on your size and activity levels - and that can lead to problems. Starchy foods are your main source of energy, and research suggests people need eight to 10 portions a day over three meals. As an example of portion sizes, think:
Cereal - three tablespoons
Bread - one slice
Baked potato - half
Small boiled potatoes - two
Boiled pasta - three tablespoons
Boiled rice - two tablespoons
Cooked noodles - 115g
Pitta bread - half
Scone - half
Small crackers - three
And remember that wholegrain or wholemeal options will keep you feeling fuller for longer. You should also aim for at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day, and almost all of those count, including frozen, canned and dried varieties. For meat, fish and other proteins, aim for two to three portions a day, including at least one portion of oily fish a week.
For non-dairy protein, include one portion in at least two daily meals. A portion may include 100g of raw or 100g cooked lean meat, 75g of oily fish or 150g of white fish, two medium-sized eggs, five tablespoons of baked beans, four tablespoons of pulses (chickpeas, lentils etc), or two tablespoons of nuts.
Aim for three portions of dairy products, preferably one per meal. Those may include 200ml milk, 150ml yoghurt, 30g hard cheese and 90g cottage cheese, using lower-fat options where possible. Also bear in mind that you can cut down on fat and sugar by eating fewer sweets, cakes and biscuits, and drinking fewer sugary soft drinks.
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